The Chicago Blackhawks rookies are a main reason for the team’s success this season.
While it is early to talk about Calder Trophy favorites, it is worth noting that Chicago does have a few potential players that have been great to begin the year. All the rookies that have stepped into the lineup this season are playing above average.
When Stan Bowman and the Blackhawks announced their “rebuild” in the offseason, fans expected to have some pretty bad hockey for the next few years. While this team is not a pure Stanley Cup contender, they very well can be apart of the playoff conversation.
The rookies on this roster are defying expectations, and that is good for everyone else around. While Patrick Kane is definitely having an MVP caliber season, it is nice to have other players get involved.
So, let’s discuss three candidates for rookie of the year. There is no way that all three of these guys are going to get nominated but I do think Chicago will have one of their guys get nominated for the trophy as they have been on fire to start the year.
1. Kevin Lankinen
Kevin Lankinen is having an amazing season for a rookie in the NHL. He has stepped into the Chicago Blackhawks lineup after stealing the starting net from Collin Delia and Malcolm Subban, and he has made it his own.
The Blackhawks are better off with Lankinen in the lineup, and he is arguably the best option to get picked for the Calder Trophy out of other members of the Blackhawks. Out of goalies that have played more than one game, Lankinen leads goalies with a .927 save percentage. His goals-against average of 2.42 is in the top five out of rookie goalie, and his seven wins this season is the best for other rookies.
Lankinen is also one of three goalies to register a shutout this season, and he has been the biggest difference-maker for the Blackhawks. If it was not for his great play this team would most likely be competing with Detroit for the bottom of the Central Division standings.